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December 2013 cruise review with many pictures


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We just returned from a 14 day cruise on the HAL Zaandam from Santiago to Buenos Aires. All we can say is WOW ! We will review the ship , the ports and be glad to answer any and all questions. And of course pictures :)

 

 

The Canal Beagle confluence

 

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All hands on deck

 

 

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Glacier Alley

 

 

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Penguins

 

 

 

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And the end of the world

 

 

 

 

 

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The pix are great thank you. What were the highlights of the cruise, any information would be appreciated as we will be on this cruise in march, our first time on HAL.

 

Sandy in Spain

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The pix are great thank you. What were the highlights of the cruise, any information would be appreciated as we will be on this cruise in march, our first time on HAL.

 

Sandy in Spain

 

Thank you Keith , Don and Sandy ! Some of our highlights were the cruise on HAL , on shore - Osorno volcano , glacier cruising , Torres Del Paine , Ushuaia bay cruise , Puerto Madryn penguins. All private tours ( except Torres Del Paine). Post - cruise @ El Calafate. We will detail later.

 

 

Joe

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Beautiful pics! Did you have to pay a fee when arriving in Chile? Did you also have to pay a fee when leaving Buenas Aires to return to the US even though you arrived there via ship? We are planning to take this cruise in 2015. I'm looking forward to hearing about your private tours seeing more pics.

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Beautiful pics! Did you have to pay a fee when arriving in Chile? Did you also have to pay a fee when leaving Buenos Aires to return to the US even though you arrived there via ship? We are planning to take this cruise in 2015. I'm looking forward to hearing about your private tours seeing more pics.

 

Hey Miami (my hometown) ! Both Chile and Argentina charge fees equal to what the US charges them. In both cases it was $160 p.p. for a total of $640 for the 2 of us. We flew to Buenos Aires , from MIA and had to pay before we left. If you land without paying first you will be returned (we were told). When we flew into Santiago on the next day , we paid at an airport kiosk before you do anything else. The Chilean fee is attached to the passport and is good for the life of the passport. In Argentina it's good for 10 years and they use a thumb print and eye scan for recognition. I plan on starting the review soon - so stay tuned !

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We were going to do this cruise on October 27 , 2014. But when the price went South , so did we. HAL announced a lower price for a 14 day version of this cruise ending in Buenos Aires. A quick price check on flights and we were in - with only 5 weeks to plan. We felt comfortable with a late booking because we had done a similar cruise on the NCL Dream in 2007. We chose to ride the HAL bus from Santiago to the port in Valparaiso. Here's the bus that we took for the 2 hour ride.

 

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Along the way we passed through wine country

 

 

 

 

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Arriving at the queue we joined the embarkation process.

 

 

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It would be a long , frustrating process. The line was slow moving and when our time came we found out why. It seem that local labor was used for the process instead of HAL employees. We had already paid our reciprocity fees to Chile and Argentina - so we had hoped to avoid the dreaded passport confiscation. But the local authorities were having none of that so it's give up your passport or miss the boat. The people behind us in line were from Moscow and I explained to them that with 4 trips to Russia , that we never had to surrender our passport there , or in any other country. We asked but never got a satisfactory reason for this. When doing private tours in other countries we always carry our passport in case of emergency. After another bag X-ray and a dog sniff we boarded the next bus to the cruise ship.

 

 

 

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We have been through many boarding processes in many countries but I care for Valparaiso the least.

 

 

 

We were thrilled to be on the Zaandam , and I took out my better camera for a couple of picture before we sailed.

 

 

Colorful dwellings

 

 

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The port

 

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You were really lucky with the weather. Our ship had to skip Ushuaia because of a storm.

 

We were truly blessed with beautiful weather on the Sunday that we cruised past Glacier Alley and into Ushuaia. Friday and Saturday had been windy and rainy and the port of Ushuaia was closed the day before we arrived.

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Thanks for posting, we fly out on the 3rd for Buenos Aires then sail on the 6th. really looking forward to it

 

Enjoy ! You may need shorts and sunscreen. Today's paper said 102 F in BA. Here's the today ON LOCATION from a month ago 54 F in Chile. What a difference a month makes !

 

 

 

 

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With a good night of sleep and a day at sea I got up early for coffee and to take a camera for a walk. I had purchased a new camera a month earlier and I wanted to get comfortable with it and the ship.

 

 

Crow's nest

 

 

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Explorations lounge

 

 

 

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Rotterdam dining

 

 

 

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I love this painting in the Library

 

 

 

 

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Karla and Juan were teaching the Tango in the Crow's Nest

 

 

 

 

 

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In the morning we attended a creative photo editing in the Digital Workshop with Evan. We really like this feature with Holland America. Latter in the day we had our Cruise Critic meet and greet in the Crow's Nest . There we got an answer to a question that I have always had , " Where do Australians vacation " ? There were over 100 Aussies on our cruise. There were also many Germans , Japanese , and Russians . Of course mostly Americans and Canadians . Missing were the large number of that we had seen on our previous cruise to South America .

 

 

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This was the today ON LOCATION for Sunday. We were really looking forward to Puerto Montt on Monday as it was a high point of ous previous trip to SA. I hopes of catching a clear photo of Osorno Volcano and a lunch at our favorite restaurant in South America. Next: Trouble on the horizon.

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snip..Karla and Juan were teaching the Tango in the Crow's Nest...

snip.... There we got an answer to a question that I have always had , " Where do Australians vacation " ? There were over 100 Aussies on our cruise. There were also many Germans , Japanese , and Russians . Of course mostly Americans and Canadians . Missing were the large number of that we had seen on our previous cruise to South America .

snip..

We were really looking forward to Puerto Montt on Monday as it was a high point of ous previous trip to SA. I hopes of catching a clear photo of Osorno Volcano and a lunch at our favorite restaurant in South America. Next: Trouble on the horizon.

 

Thanks for posting, we are on this cruise in March so I have a few questions

1. Tango classes..do you know how popular these were? On a similar princess cruise you could barely get on the dance floor, it was soooo crowded. Do you know if Tango classes are the norm on SA cruises or was this cruise a Dancing themed cruise?

2. I think there might be a word missing... We found there were lots of South americans on our cruise, was this the same on yours?

3. Please name your favourite restaurant and where is it in case we have time to try it?

 

Did you use any private tour operators at all, if so who do you recommend for which location and tours?

 

Thanks

Sandy in Spain

Edited by t60
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Thanks for posting, we are on this cruise in March so I have a few questions

1. Tango classes..do you know how popular these were? On a similar princess cruise you could barely get on the dance floor, it was soooo crowded. Do you know if Tango classes are the norm on SA cruises or was this cruise a Dancing themed cruise?

2. I think there might be a word missing... We found there were lots of South americans on our cruise, was this the same on yours?

3. Please name your favourite restaurant and where is it in case we have time to try it?

 

Did you use any private tour operators at all, if so who do you recommend for which location and tours?

 

Thanks

Sandy in Spain

 

Good morning Sandy and everyone and thanks for the questions and comments.

 

# 1. I don't know how popular the dance classes were because I was just taking photos and didn't attend the classes. It didn't seem like they had the full 60 maximum. The sign up was in the Explorations Café with Librarian Liz with a maximum of 60 per class so you may want to ask her early. I don't know if this was a dance theme cruise or an ongoing feature like the Digital Workshop. On the 1st day at sea Tango was taught at 10AM and noon. Dancing with the Stars at Sea Dance Class and Competition - The Samba was featured at 11 AM. Latin Dance with the Cruise Director was held at 2 PM. So it seems like there were many opportunities for learning various dance styles.

 

 

#2. Thank you for the edit . It should read " Missing were the large number of South Americans that we had seen on our previous cruise to South America".

 

 

#3. Our favorite restaurant is Latitude 42 which we will review and share photos of with our upcoming shore excursion review of Puerto Montt.

 

http://www.southernchilexp.com/_CHILE_Hotel_and_Lodging/YAN_KEE_WAY_LODGE/Latitude_42_Restaurant/latitude_42_restaurant.html

 

 

We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and safe travels in 2014.

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snip...

#3. Our favorite restaurant is Latitude 42 which we will review and share photos of with our upcoming shore excursion review of Puerto Montt.

http://www.southernchilexp.com/_CHILE_Hotel_and_Lodging/YAN_KEE_WAY_LODGE/Latitude_42_Restaurant/latitude_42_restaurant.html

snip.../quote]

 

Thanks scubacruiser for answering my questions. We are signed up for a trip in Pto Montt and Latitude has already been mentioned as a place to dine. I checked their website and menu, the prices do seem very reasonable.

 

Sandy in Spain

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I hope you could see the Osorno Volcano. We couldn't. I feel like going back to Chile and Argentine right now. Where can I order good weather? ;)

 

Were there twice daily Tai Chi classes?

 

Not many South Americans ... On our cruise (March/April 2013), the few must have felt neglected. For example, no announcement in Spanish for the muster drill. Lots of Spanish names were missing in our group and one elderly and confused couple was finally helped by a Spanish speaking crew member. First time cruisers need better help.

 

On a cruise between two Spanish speaking countries, I would have expected HAL to be more sensitive to their needs. It's an entire market.

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We were on this cruise with you and did some excursions with you...maybe only one? We went all the way to Rio and then Iguazu Falls. LOVED the trip.

 

We loved the cruise too ! We had to choose between Iguazu and El Calafate post cruise ( both great choices). Being from a warm climate we tend to gravitate toward a cooler one. Maybe you can share some photos from the falls ?

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Our first port after leaving Santiago was Puerto Montt . We had been here before and knew exactly what we wanted to do and see so we booked a private tour to accomplish as much as we could. The port requires a tender so we were down early to get tickets on the first tender and we were off .

 

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We were in port from 8 am to 5 pm and we had a lot of ground to cover. We drove along Lago Llanquihue ( Lake Yan kee way) and made a brief stop at a store. We continued along route 225 with the goal of photographing Osorno Volcano without cloud cover. Along route 225 there were numerous stops for road construction. We made a scenic view stop just ahead of another private group. This was our first view of the volcano (complete with some animals on the tennis court).

 

 

 

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The other group wanted to pose for pictures and so did the animals.

 

 

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After entering Vicente Perez Rosales National Park , we requested a photo stop on the paved road as it looked as though we could do an end run around the clouds.

 

 

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A little further on the paved road ended abruptly and a bus flew past us . It hit the dirt road and went airborne ! I thought that we would see a massive accident in front of us. We caught the bus a little further up the road when we stopped at Lagos Todos Los Santos . Everyone was OK and boarding a boat for a lake crossing at Petrohue.

 

 

 

 

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We saw another view of the Volcano near the hotel and it looked as though the clouds were circling the summit.

 

 

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Can you believe the asking price for a visit to the restrooms ?

 

 

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Walking along the volcanic lakeshore we got another view of Osorno

 

 

 

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Our next stop was the Saltos del Petrohue ( Petrohue waterfalls). It is a chute type waterfall from where the Petrohue River crosses a lava field. The lava field was created from the last eruption of Osorno in 1869.

 

 

There is a nice walk through the jungle to reach the falls.

 

 

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Petrohue Falls

 

 

 

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You can hear and see the power in this video clip.

 

 

 

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The volcano is a perfectly shaped cone and dominates the landscape. Visible from the ship in port , it acts as a magnet drawing and locking the visitor's gaze. We had hoped to see the summit which is almost always obscured by clouds and had eluded us thus far. I happened to glance up for a second and there it was !

 

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We began the long assent and about half way up we noticed something in the road . The mist was rising up from the road and getting thicker by the second. We were enveloped by a cloud with wind and rain. " It will be cold and windy" our guide informed us , we took that for a sign that we were close . Back and forth , left and right our driver seemed to know every twist and turn. Good thing for us because we were blind. After what seemed like an eternity we heard " we are here". Opening the sliding door she announced " its snowing ". We were like a couple of kids again stopping at the snowman before entering the lodge .

 

 

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The hot chocolate ( and warm interior ) was wonderful .

 

 

 

 

 

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The ski lift wasn't working but I lifted this picture from the internet

 

 

 

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We were informed that lunch was waiting and we were off again ! After we cleared the cloud we made a brief stop at an outlook.

 

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Loved the wildflowers

 

 

 

 

 

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The road down

 

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